Sidney Lumet Biography

Sidney Lumet photo

Born: June 25, 1924

SIDNEY LUMET

Date of Birth: June 25, 1924

Sidney Lumet was born in Philadelphia and grew up during The Great Depression. His family moved every year because it was cheaper to pull up stakes than sign a new lease. His parents were entertainers on the Yiddish stage and Lumet became a child actor on radio in New York City.

At 15, he made his acting debut in One Third of a Nation. It was the last film he would act in. World War II took over center stage, and Lumet was sent to Burma to work as a radio repairman. After the War, he decided to become a director and began with Off Broadway theater. By 1950, he was directing for CBS television.

His first feature film was 12 Angry Men, which was the first of a series of movies that held up a mirror to the American system and scrutinized its flaws. In spite of his interest in justice gone awry, he found the coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial to be "disturbing."

"We're dealing with something very serious, and it's just being fed out on the level of an afternoon talk show," says Lumet. He is convinced that people can influence and change their culture rather than allow it to permeate their lives. "The problem with politics isn't the politicians," he says, "it's that people don't demand more of them."

Lumet believes that American-style television has dulled our conscience and contributed to our inability to feel. He is famous for the scene in Network where Faye Dunaway natters on about TV ratings while having sex.

Lumet has published Making Movies, a best-selling book about his directing career, which spans four decades. He's also a purist who prefers his bagels plain.

Married four times, he has two daughters from his third marriage -- sound editor Amy Lumet and actress Jenny Lumet.

Filmography:

Find Me Guilty(2006)
Rachel, quand du seigneur (2004)
Whistle (2000)
Gloria (1999)
Night Falls on Manhattan(1997)
Critical Care (1997)
Guilty as Sin(1993)
A Stranger Among Us (1992)
Q & A (1990)
Family Business (1989)
Running on Empty (1988)
The Morning After (1986)
Power (1986)
Garbo Talks (1984)
Daniel (1983)
Deathtrap (1982)
The Verdict (1982)
Prince of the City (1981)
Just Tell Me What You Want (1980)
The Wiz(1978)
Equis (1977)
Network(1976)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Lovin' Molly (1974)
Serpico(1973)
The Offence (1973)
The Anderson Tapes(1971)
The Appointment (1969)
The Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots (1969)
Bye Bye Braverman (1968)
The Sea Gull (1968)
The Deadly Affair(1967)
The Group (1966)
The Pawnbroker (1965)
The Hill (1965)
Fail Safe (1964)
Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)
A View From the Bridge (1961)
The Fugitive Kind (1960)
That Kind of Woman (1959)
12 Angry Men (1957)

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